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Asia Minute: Japan Still Working on Vacation Time

Chris 73
Wikimedia Commons

On this Aloha Friday, you may be looking at a long weekend, if your workplace observes Monday’s King Kamehameha Day holiday. You may also have some vacation plans this summer. But in at least one Asian country, many companies are still trying to convince their workers to take more time off. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


Japan is going to try yet another new strategy to convince people to take more time away from work.

This is not exactly a new issue.

Surveys consistently show that Japanese workers are reluctant to take all their allotted vacation time, and it’s been that way for years.

A study last year showed most workers take less than half the time off they’re entitled to take.

One government goal is for people to take 70-percent of their paid holidays by the year 2020.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports the government is going to introduce incentives for companies able to convince their employees to use more holiday time.

Another new concept: “Kids Week”—that involves a few extra vacation days for public school kids.

The idea is that parents will take some vacation at the same time.

All of this is on top of “Premium Fridays.” A recently-inaugurated practice encouraging employees to leave at 3 PM on the last Friday of every month.

There will be further government meetings, and rhetoric about all of this.

The Cabinet Secretariat will soon hold what the Yomiuri calls “a public-private general promotion conference to reform the taking of holidays”…phrasing put together by someone who no doubt could.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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